Bloggers have souls too. And they need real food, not just happy stories! With this belief firmly set in my mind, I set about making lunch yesterday, and for the first time in my life, I made the most delicious chicken soup.
Yes 🙂 this is the real deal, not just an inspirational story.
Before we begin, just a quick word about this blog post. No one loves uplifting stories more than me, and please don’t take my lighthearted banter about them too seriously.
The Story Behind this Blog Post
Ok. So now on to chicken soup!
For years, my chicken dishes had been turning out to be barely edible. I have had small successes but in general you could eat my chicken dishes only if you were VERY hungry. I could cook everything else (including “how to blog” posts), but I couldn’t cook chicken. I ended up buying oily chicken dishes from my local takeout whenever I had a craving for chicken.
I dreamed of making chicken at home which is made from scratch. I never liked the idea of buying pre-packaged chicken recipes which come bottled with salt, oil, ginger, garlic and everything else mixed together. You add one of these packages to your chicken and you have your magical chicken dish ready in 45 minutes. Invariably such packaged recipes overdose on salt and oil (and God knows what else), and if I have to use such black-box recipes, I thought, I might as well buy take-out chicken instead of pretending that I am eating healthy home-cooked food.
That’s why, yesterday was a big day for me.
The chicken soup turned out to be absolutely delicious. And I simply had to write this blog-post, not only to share with you, but also to make sure I keep a record of what I did. This way I can repeat it exactly as is.
Delicious Chicken Soup Recipe
Though I have termed this dish as “soup” it is really a curry chicken recipe. In our home we use the term soup for all curry dishes.
- Three chicken leg quarters. Typically, a leg quarter contains the thigh, drumstick and a portion of the back. A word of caution – Unlike other meats, chicken needs very careful handling. Please see NHS guidelines about how to handle chicken in your home: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/never-wash-raw-chicken/
- Onion – One very large or two medium
- Green chili: 1 medium size shredded Thai/Indian chili. Even if you don’t like very spicy dishes, a small amount of green chili is necessary to give your soup some zing.
- Ginger: Half cup of shredded ginger. The cup I am referring to is 250 ml in volume. You need lots of ginger, this is key. If you don’t put enough ginger, your chicken will retain it’s unpleasant protein odour. In India this smell is called, “Bisaindha” smell.
- Garlic: 5 pods
- Oil: 2 tablespoons. I used sunflower oil, some people like to cook in mustard oil while others like groundnut oil. Just make sure that what you are using is labeled as cooking oil for “high heat”. On that note, I especially don’t cook in olive oil as is it not meant for high heat cooking.
- Cumin. 1 tea spoon powdered cumin. Cumin gives a punch to the dish. Without this spice, your chicken will turn out to be bland.
- Sweet Spanish red pepper: 2 tablespoons powdered.
- Salt: Half teaspoon, or to taste.
- Curry: 2 tablespoons mild curry powder. Many cooking aficionados grind their own curry powder, however I am all for simplicity in life. The curry powder is a very generic name which can mean completely different things in different brands. I just make sure that it clearly says, “NO MSG” on the label. MSG, which is used as a flavor enhancer, has for decades been popularly linked to various health problems, such as headaches and allergic reactions. I found that many spices (and also pickles) I used to buy from Asian, Indian and Pakistani grocery stores had been identified as containing MSG and I stopped buying them altogether. That doesn’t mean I stopped eating my favorite dishes. I just use basic spices as I have mentioned in this post.
- Water: Add enough water, just to cover the chicken and vegetables (onion etc.)
The preparation itself is surprisingly simple. Boil chicken with onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, oil and salt for 1 hour. The chicken I used was frozen and I cooked mine for 2.5 hours.
After the chicken is fully cooked (the meat starts separating from the bone), add the spices (cumin, red pepper, curry powder) and cook further for 30 minutes.
You are done! It’s a chicken dish which will have bone and meat mixed with gravy. I did not add any other vegetables in the soup, but I plan to experiment next time.
Cooking chicken can take a long time, but the process is easy. In the morning, as you start writing your blog post, you can put your pot of chicken and vegetables to boil, and by the time you have written your 2000 words for the day, your lunch will be ready!
As I have mentioned earlier, the word “soup” may be a misnomer for this dish, since it’s really what a lot of people would call, “curry chicken”. However, I do hope you make it and enjoy it!
“How to blog for money or for fun”, is the key theme of zavesti.com site. However, bloggers can not blog on an empty tummy 🙂
I hope this post brings you a happy meal to enjoy with your creative writing.